The human skeleton is composed of 300 bones at birth and by the time adulthood is reached, some bones have fused together to give a total of 206 bones in the body. The bone mass in the skeleton reaches maximum density around age 30. The human skeleton can be divided into the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton. The axial skeleton is formed by the vertebral column, the rib cage and the skull. The appendicular skeleton, which is attached to the axial skeleton, is formed by the pectoral girdles, the pelvic girdle and the bones of the upper and lower limbs.
The human skeleton serves six major functions; support, movement, protection, production of blood cells, storage of ions and endocrine regulation.
Osseous tissue, or bone tissue, is the major structural and supportive connective tissue of the body. Osseous tissue forms the rigid part of the bone organs that make up the skeletal system.
Bone tissue is a mineralized connective tissue. It is formed by cells, called osteoblasts, that deposit a matrix of Type-I collagen and also release calcium, magnesium, and phosphate ions that ultimately combine chemically within the collagenous matrix into a crystalline mineral, known as bone mineral, in the form of hydroxyapatite. The combination of hard mineral and flexible collagen makes bone harder and stronger than cartilage without being brittle. Compact bone consists of a repeating structure called a Haversian system, or osteon, which is the primary anatomical and functional unit. Each osteon has concentric layers of mineralized matrix, called concentric lamellae, which are deposited around a central canal, also known as the Haversian canal, each containing a blood and nerve supply.
Connective tissue (CT) is a kind of biological tissue that supports, connects, or separates different types of tissues and organs of the body. It is one of the four general classes of biological tissues—the others of which are epithelial, muscular, and nervous tissues. It is estimated that 1 out of 10 people have a Connective Tissue Disorder.
All CT has three main components: cells, fibers, and extracellular matrices, all immersed in the body fluids.
Dense connective tissue, also called dense fibrous tissue, has fibers as its main matrix element.
Dense connective tissue is mainly composed of collagen type I. Crowded between the collagen fibers are rows of fibroblasts, fiber-forming cells, that manufacture the fibers. Dense connective tissue forms strong, rope-like structures such as tendons and ligaments. Tendons attach skeletal muscles to bones; ligaments connect bones to bones at joints. Ligaments are more stretchy and contain more elastic fibers than tendons. Dense connective tissue also make up the lower layers of the skin (dermis), where it is arranged in sheets.
Each skeletal muscle consists of two kinds of tissue: connective tissue, and muscle tissue. Connective tissue of skeletal muscle contains:
The layers of connective tissue have a major role in protection and covering of muscle fibers, muscle fascicles, and an entire skeletal muscle. Tendons attach the skeletal muscles to bones. Aponeurosis is structurally as tendon that connects the muscles together, or to bone.